Boo the 700% Rent Hike on DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company

  • by: Susan V
  • target: Lansburgh Theatre Inc (LTI), Washington, DC
Lansburgh Theatre has been home to DC's award-winning Shakespeare Theatre Company for the last 20 years.

As part of its charitable duties, STC strengthens arts in the community and internationally by offering youth educational programs and numerous free monthly performances to the public.

But now the landlord, Lansburgh Theatre Inc (LTI), is trying to raise the rent 700%. This is not only preposterous; it’s illegal, says Company director Chris Jennings. 

He explains that the Lansburgh complex developer gained building rights in the first place by donating the Theatre to STC, and as long as STC does its charitable duties, the landlord cannot interfere with its sole right to use it.

Unable to resolve this dispute, STC has filed a lawsuit and intends to continue its performances.

In the meantime, STC needs the public’s continued patronage and support. Stand up for the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Boo LTI’s act of exploitation.

We, the undersigned, support the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s right to use the Lansburgh Theatre without paying unreasonably high rent.

Raising the rent by 700% would certainly cause undue financial strain on the Company and diminish its budget for charitable programs as well as regular productions. Furthermore, it‘s unwarranted, given the terms of the contract as Jennings explains them.

STC is the recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award and has “received more Helen Hayes Awards for producing than any other theatre.”

As part of its charitable duties, it strengthens the arts in the community by offering educational programs to youth and adults and numerous free monthly performances to the public.

The Arts are almost always the first to suffer during a struggling economy, and LTI should be working to support, rather than weaken STC’s goals.

We request that you drop your demand for higher rent and honor STC’s right to perform at Lansburgh without your interference. And please consider being more supportive of the Arts from now on.

Thank you for considering this request.


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